Wednesday, January 26, 2011

How We Make It Work: Bills-- boring, boring, boring!

This is kind-of a boring post, but I thought I'd save the dressing post for Friday so I can link to another blog, and I have yet to take any pictures of my decorating-- plus having 4 kids here, 2 of whom have the flu has not been conducive to a clean house!

Alright, let's get to it!
Nathan and I both drive vehicles that are over a decade old.  He has a Honda and I have a Toyota.  We both paid $4000 for our vehicles many years ago and God has really blessed them with "long life" :)  Seriously, God has blessed us with our vehicles and we always pray that He would continue to keep them going until we are in a position to afford new ones.  In the past, when one of the vehicles has had mechanical problems, we've always been tempted to throw in the towel and buy a vehicle with payments.  However, we've also known that the amount it cost to fix our old vehicle would be about the equivalent of 2-3 months worth of car payments.  Which is why you can find me, wind blowing through my hair from the window that refuses to roll up, singing my own songs since my radio broke, happily payment free :)  This month, we are finally selling my Camry for another used vehicle and I have to admit, I am super excited!  However, not having a car payment has helped enable us to live off of a limited budget each month. 

Old Faithful (and my messy garage!)
The only things that we may do a bit differently are no home phone-- only one cell phone, no cable-- rather the internet please!,  and we utilize a payment equalizer on our bills.  Basically, the equalizer ensures that despite the suffocating temps of an Arizona summer, our payments will remain the same all year long.  We also make sure to use our major appliance only during off-peak hours; this makes a huge difference for Phoenix residents.

Auto- Because of the status of our vehicles, we haven't had a need to have comprehensive coverage on our vehicles.  This saved us quite a bit, as did switching to Geico (much as I hated to do that to our local agency.)  I am hoping that once our finances are a bit more steady, we will be able to switch back to our local office.
Nathan took advantage of two discounts his employer was offering.  One was a tobacco-free incentive and the other was a health exam.  By taking these two tests/questionnaires, we were able to save $100 from our health insurance premium each month.

Moral of this Story: 
Can switching to Geico really save you 15% or more on car insurance? 
Does a former Drill Sergeant make a terrible therapist?

I love that commercial!


Lisa said...

haha! We have Geico too and save a lot with them. When our local agent wanted to charge us the same for 12 year old cars as she would for a brand new car...we knew it was time to switch. I know what you mean though about wanting to stay local.

Thanks for your budgeting posts. Right now is a hard time for so helps to know we're not alone in our penny pinching. ;-)

Pam said...

You guys have done such a great job. Been loven your posts.
Miss you.
Love Pam

Davene Grace said...

I totally agree about no car payments! It is SO worth it, even if we do end up driving older cars without some of the luxuries of newer models.

You might have thought this post was boring, but I enjoy everything you write!! :)

I hope everyone recovers quickly from the flu. Ugh. No fun.

Elizabeth said...

So a great read! You are never boring. And you made me laugh literally out loud over the Geico commercial :P Oh I am excited about the newer (older) car! I need to call you! But it sounds like you have been pretty busy with extra little ones around and what sounds like the flu :( I hope everyone feels better soon!

Love you!

New Mom said...

Ok, since I posted old faithful I will have to post the new to us vehicle. Confession time: I used to be so embarrassed over my ride, but lately I just haven't felt that way (as much :). Every once in a while if I am really dressed up I will feel a little foolish about "looking like a million bucks" and getting out of a car that looks like... ummm... one buck :) To post a pic for all to see must mean I'm growing up!